Looking For A First Or New Home

I have to say that, at the moment, I am perfectly happy and content in my home. It is cosy and homely, in a nice area, and has the perfect school for Joe just on the doorstep. But in September next year, Joe will be at High School and the time maybe right for a move, and an upgrade.

Funding For A First Or New Home

When we bought our first home, in 2003, we were right in the middle of the housing boom, and you could still get 100% mortgage in the UK, which was handy if you had not been able to save for a deposit. Now it is getting harder to get onto the housing ladder, particularly if you are a first time buyer, even more difficult if you are a first time buyer with a low income. But if you live in the US, you may be able to get help through an affordable housing programme like the Chenoa Fund, which helps help credit worthy families to realise the dream of home ownership by providing hopeful home buyers with the financial tools to purchase a home. It takes away the problem of having to have a deposit ( a minimum down payment) which can often be a barrier, and is helping more and more families to get on the housing ladder. When combined with your first mortgage, qualified borrowers can receive a second mortgage or grant to purchase a home with little or no cash investment.

If you are able to obtain your funding for a mortgage, or through an affordable housing programme, the real fun starts as you are able to look at what you require in your new home. For me I would look for somewhere that would be both practical as a family home and yet large enough for family and friends to stay over, and there are certain features that would definitely make a home more attractive.

What to look for in a new home

1. A double garage

We have both a car and a van. One is currently parked at the back of the house, one on the road. A double garage would be both practical and a security measure too.

Double Garage from Warwick garages

Double Garage from Warwick garages

2. A dressing room.

I have a lot of clothes, more than a couple of wardrobes can handle. And despite the fact that I cull my clothing items regularly, a dressing room with some walk in wardrobes would be just lovely. I’d be happy to share it with the hubby too – he’s a bit of a clotheshorse too!

Love this!

Love this!

3. Period features.

I am not a fan of modern and new build houses, I currently love in a Victorian terrace that has lots of its original features, and would definitely be looking for something similar – a Victorian villa or a Georgian townhouse are two styles of house I truly love.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

4. An exposed staircase and entrance hall.

One of the things about living in a Victorian terrace is that you literally walk straight into my dining room once the front door is opened – there is no entrance hall. I would love a proper entrance hall with a beautiful winding staircase exposed. Our stairs are currently hidden behind the living room door – they are steep and literally just a staircase, with no hall space.

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5. A large garden with lots of grass.

We have this currently – almost 100ft of garden with a large grassy area . The garden would need to be big enough for two sets of goals – we play a lot of football in our current garden so this is probably the most important space in the whole house and garden.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

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What would you look for in your next home?

 

What You Should Invest in Before Winter Hits

As experts warn this will be the coldest winter in 30 years, now’s the time to start getting prepared. From warming thermal clothing to crucial home essentials, here you’ll discover some of the top things you should invest in before winter hits in the UK. 

Flannel sheets

Make sure you get a great night’s sleep this winter and stock up on flannel sheets. Not only are these bedsheets extra-warm, they’re also super comfortable too. 

You won’t need to worry about getting too hot as these sheets are extremely breathable. They’ll also last for years if maintained properly. Compared to standard cotton sheets, flannel sheets are much more durable. This is largely because you’ll only use them during the colder months. So, stocking up now is an investment for not just this winter, but for future winters too.  

Thermal clothing

To beat the cold winter days, invest in thick thermal clothing. Whether it’s thermal socks, vests or a thermal t-shirt from a company such as Damart, you’ll be able to stay warm no matter how cold it gets.

You could even invest in thermal clothing for the evenings, such as thermal pyjamas. Having a good selection of thermal clothing will ensure no matter what the occasion and how cold it gets; you’ll be able to stay toasty warm. 

Space heaters

As the weather turns colder, we start to rely more upon our heating. This can often cause it to pack in completely. Don’t get caught out if your heating does cut out this winter, ensure you have space heaters on hand.

The most common space heaters are electric powered. However, if you’re worried about the cost, there are alternative powered models available. Make sure you take the size of the room into account as some heaters are best suited to smaller spaces.

Blankets

You’ll also want a good collection of blankets available. These can be used to drape across you on the sofa, to place over the bed and to keep leather furniture warm and comfortable. You can invest in cotton, wool or fleece style blankets. They also come in a wide range of designs, ensuring there’s something to match your interior. 

Draught excluders

The key to keeping the home warm in winter is to eliminate any draughts. You can pick up affordable draught excluders which can be placed behind doors. You’ll also want to consider sealing any gaps around the doors and windows. This will make it feel significantly warmer.

These are just some of the best things you can invest in to stay warm this winter. With the weather expected to be colder than we’ve experienced for decades, it makes sense to be prepared. 

 

Make Your Bathroom Space Beautiful

Your bathroom should be a haven, one of the rooms in the house where you can unwind and relax, washing away the aches and pains of the day whilst totally chilling out. But often the bathroom is a room which is short on space, and is also a room where you try to avoid spending too much money when it comes to a makeover.

The good news is that you do not have to spend big in order to create a wonderful space. If you are looking for inspiration for a stylish & chic bathroom designs you can visit a bathroom specialist like  Harrogate Bathrooms to get some inspiration, and can then transform your own space.

Here are a few Ideas for making your bathroom move from shabby to chic.

Mirror, Mirror, Mirror

A large mirror is an absolute must have if you are trying to create a glamorous bathroom space. Not only is it perfect for selfie queens, but it helps to create an illusion of space if your bathroom is on the small side. If you opt for a Venetian glass style mirror, you give your room a touch of vintage elegance.

Fixtures and Fittings

If your bathroom suite is rather plain, you can dress it up through the fixtures and fittings that you choose. Opulent style taps, light pulls, even toilet roll holders in shiny chrome or brass styles can be a touch of class that raises your bathroom from the realms of ordinary to spectacular.

Add a Blind

A plain blind will give you the privacy you require in your bathroom, and can be tied in to any colour scheme you have. Opt for a wipe clean, waterproof option so that it will last, this is the bathroom, the wettest room in the home, after all.

Lighting

The lighting you choose can affect the whole mood of the room. Soft spotlights and downlights can give the effect of a starry night and can certainly make the room feel both glamorous and relaxing, particularly if you also light some scented candles when you take a bath.

What do you do to add glamour to your bathroom?